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Thursday, January 07, 2010


I'm a little surprised the Phils made no major league offer to Eyre, although no way was he going to get the $2M he sought.

JW: Don't forget Ehren Wasserman, who I think was 3rd grade homeroom monitor.

I'll give the guy a beer if he'll take the minor-league contract. Deal?

I'll miss him.

Big part of the bullpen that has made the Phils successful and seemed like a laid back, fun guy. Will most certainly be missed.

Wasserman is from Alabama, but that's a PA Dutch name. Maybe Wasserman and Vogelsong could do-si-do between innings.

Phils would have been crazy to offer a guy at the end of his rope a guaranteed $2M. My bet though is that if the Phils had offered him a deal at around $1M, he would have gutted it out for another season.

As usual with athletes, it comes down to money and everything else takes a back seat. Nothing against Eyre. He has already made +$17M in his career and can likely easily decide to putz around the next year or two while he figures out want he wants to do with his life.

Comcast Sportsnet analyst is my guess. Fits the mold.

"As usual with athletes, it comes down to money and everything else takes a back seat."

This is a ridiculous statement considering A) they're no different than any other people, who don't do their jobs for free usually and B) the guy just retired rather than try and stick around and make more money. Maybe he was tired of the baseball lifestyle. Maybe he wanted to spend more time with his kids. Maybe he just didn't feel like doing permanent damage to his elbow.

There could be a lot of reasons why Eyre retired, all of which he has every right to keep personal. Money, though, would seem to be last on the list, considering he gave up a chance to make more of it.

I also don't put much/if any stock in the suppose statement from Eyre's agent that "he would only play for the Phils or he would retire."

If another team had given him a guaranteed deal at $1M or more, he would be likely wearing another team's uniform next season.

What is much more likely is that other teams saw Eyre for what he is - huge health question mark that is just as likely to not pitch as pitch effectively this season and equal/better LOOGY options on the FA market yet.

Clout: I 2nd that statement. Eyre pitched well last season through injuries and all.

Jack - If the Phils had offered Eyre a guaranteed contract for $1M or better this year, I almost guarantee you he would be out for another year.

It is the same ridiculous stuff you hear about "Moyer should retire." The chances of Moyer retiring this year are about as close to 0% as you can get.

I don't fault baseball athletes for going for the buck. I just get tired of hearing the same cr@p all the time about how it isn't really about the money. BS.

What ever happened to Vic Darensbourg?

So long, Scott.

From the previous thread:

Jack, take a look at what the average ERA etc. was in Koufax's years up to age 25, and remember, it was the era of the 15-inch mound.

He was a BELOW average pitcher, albeit slightly, before then.

BTW, the first pitcher I mentioned at 12:18 is also headed for the HOF.

He just retired: Randy Johnson.

My point is very simple. While KK is no Koufax or Johnson, both of those pitchers experienced HOF LEVEL improvement AFTER the age of 25.

For you, Andy or anyone else to maintain that KK - or any pitcher - is incapable of improving....well, you're not arguing against me.

You're arguing against history.

You see, there are other examples, even of league average pitchers, who improved enough after that age to stick around and be successful.

Just a couple:

Cliff Lee had an ERA+ of 90 at age 25. Would you have predicted he win a CY?

Terry Mulholland - 78
Joe Blanton - 105

And another great one: Schilling - 88.

I'm still waiting for Andy's, or even Jack's, answer as to why having NO ability to improve is unique to KK.

awh: Deep breaths. Now see if you can follow:

First, ERA+ takes into account the league-average ERA at the time. Therefore Koufax having a 105 ERA+ at age 25 means he was above-average.

Second, Koufax and Randy Johnson (and Curt Schilling) had really, really good K rates, the exact statistic that Kendrick does not have, and the exact statistic that Andy and I (and others) have touted as a good predictor of success. Thus, we probably WOULD HAVE predicted those guys would end up being very good.

Seriously, thanks for making our point for us.

Look, I'm not saying guys can't improve--they can, and K rate is not everything, obviously. However, the first thing I personally would look for to see if a guy can show improved results would be a high K rate--an indication that a guy has good stuff, he just hasn't controlled it yet (see: all your examples).

I'm 100% in favor of Kendrick getting another shot at the rotation or the bullpen. Young guy, he keeps at it, if he throws strikes and develops a change of speeds, he can stick. But, to trot out Koufax, Johnson or even Schilling to support an argument why you stick with him is a loser of an argument. Those guys at 25yo all had something Kendrick does not - star-potential stuff. All of those guys had problems with control, not stuff, similar to most guys who eventually become superstars. If you're arguing that the Phillies should stick with Kendrick because he might be another Schilling, I want some of what you're smoking.

I assume the phils or their insurance paid for Eyre's operation. When does their obligation end for any rehab if the player is not signed for the following year, or does the players assn. take care of that?
What if he rehabs, comes back strong, and auditions like Pedro did. He could be that mid-season guy that tommy is saving our money for. If the phils are desperate at that point, he could make his money after spending ST at the beach.

Also, seriously, Joe Blanton?

ERA+ at age 25: 105
ERA+ at age 28: 102

What argument were you trying to make there?

goody - think worker's comp

Terry Mulholland is a solid example for you, possibly the only one on that list who has any similarity to Kendrick (and therefore any relevance).

Mulholland did have low K rates and improved his performance after age 25, but he did so by being stingy on walks, incredibly stingy on HRs, and absurdly good at holding baserunners on. It's a pretty unique skillset, which Kendrick would be hard-pressed to duplicate, but it certainly is possible.

Jack: What about Tom Glavine?

His K rate his first two seasons were 3.6 and 3.9 (amazingly, same as KK's first two seasons). Glavine was below league average those years (78 and 80 ERA+).

He certainly figured it out. But, of course, KK is incapable of doing so. I get it.

awh: No one is saying KK can't improve, only that there's not a lot of reason to think he'll improve much. You're listing a lot of guys who had great stuff that they learned to control and utilize. To make your case for Kendrick, you should list guys with good control who improved their stuff. Such a list is very short.

Scott, wait

CJ: Sure, Glavine is a fair example. Of course, the fact that he went on to win 300 games and be a surefire Hall of Famer is probably indication that he had some pretty unique skills himself.

In general, using some of the best players in history as comparisons are a bad idea, because they by definition are rather unique, and their careers are hard to duplicate.

Of course Kendrick has a chance of improving--no one would deny that. It's just that I haven't seen anything that indicates his chances of improving to becoming a worthwhile part of this rotation are very high. But I like your guys' optimism. Keep on fighting. May Anthony Hewitt be an All-Star someday!

I always thought Paul Byrd ws the best comp for KK as a successful low K/9 pitcher.

But I too have yet to see a single shred of evidence to support the contention by Jack, Andy, Brian G et al that "there's not a lot of reason to think he'll improve."

Why? Just because you don't think he will?

I'm curious what the real experts have to say about Kendrick right now. Are they saying he could be the next Koufax or a solid #4 or 5? I think he might be able to be a #5 pitcher in the big leagues, but i'm pessimistic. I think that should be a pretty fair opinion.

Jack and Brian G: Funny to hear you guys say that no one would say KK can't improve... perhaps you haven't been reading the last couple threads.

Jack says he doesn't have the skill set to start in the majors.

And perhaps you guys missed Andy's, "You're right. A little bit of pixie dust and a penny down a well and he'll be just fine."

I know I'm not allowed to say this... but KK did improve last season, posting a 5.1 K/9 and a 124 ERA+. But, of course, it's to be dismissed because it was only 26.1 IP.

CJ: It was only 26 IP and it also happened mostly out of the bullpen. Most guys see a jump in their K numbers when they move to the bullpen (see: Chan Ho Park).

But take a look at his K and BB numbers at the AAA level, over 143 innings. They were much worse than what he'd posted at the AA level in 2007. And pretty much the same as he posted in the majors in 2007 and 2008. I don't see any improvement there.

BedBeard: Those of us not wed to the theory that "all pitching quality emanates from K/9" believe that KK needs another pitch to get out LH or he can't remain a starter. His K/9 is irrelevant to that.

But we also believe that lopsided splits and low K/9 are not a bar to a big league career. There are too many examples to the contrary. If he can't make it as a starter, he will make it in the bullpen. Despite what Andy et al say, there really is value in holding RH hitters to a .692 OPS over 303 IP.

Yo, new thread, where KK may or may not make an appearance.

If you listen to XM 175 you might have heard Buck Martinez tell a story during the playoffs about Eyre. It tells a lot about Eyre's character.

Around 2000, Eyre got hurt, rehabbed, then went to the minors to recover. He returned to pitch for the Jays. His first outing was in Minneapolis. It started well, but ended with some shakiness. The Jays win the game, but afterward Buck finds Eyre outside the clubhouse in tears. Buck tells him there's no need for him to be upset, that he pitched well. Eyre says, "It's not about that--it's that I didn't know if I'd ever make it back to the big leagues."

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